web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

City Rail Link in the Budget?

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 pm, May 15th, 2013 - 45 comments
Categories: election 2014, housing, local body elections, national, polls, transport - Tags:

A reader sent us a comment from another blog by someone who was polled a couple of weeks back. The questions are very interesting, especially once you realise that it’s clearly being done for National and the Right in Auckland (one of the questions gives it away). Have a read, then I’ll tell you why I reckon the Nats are going to fund the City Rail Link in the Budget.

Asked me how I rated on a 1-5 scale John Key, David Shearer, Len Brown, Maurice Williamson…

Did I think NZ was headed in right or wrong direction.

Asked who I’d vote for today if a national election was held, and who I voted for last time.

Asked if I thought housing affordability was a major, moderate or non-issue.

Asked if housing affordability was due to land shortage, high compliancing/legal costs, or property developers profiteering…

Asked if Auck Council or NZ Govt were able to improve housing affordability. (I said 50/50).

Asked about expanding metropolitan limit, and increasing housing density in local centres.

Asked whether I thought CRL was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of roading projects, or not needed at all.

Asked whether Puhoi-Welsford motorway extension was very important, somewhat important, nice to have but not at expense of rail projects or not needed at all

Asked about how transport improvements (of whatever type) should be funded, vis local fuel tax, local rates, national fuel tax or central govt taxes.

Asked how above funds, once raised should be split rail vs roads. (I went for 70% rail-30% roads- I haven’t read about whats required so I pulled that from my ass :)

Asked if knowing a council candidate was on a Citizens & Ratepayers (or whatever they’ve changed C&R to stand for now?) ticket would make me more or less likely to vote for them. No other council tickets were mentioned or asked about.

There may have been a few more questions on the same subjects, but it was pretty narrowly focused on getting an aucklander’s view on the major auckland issues, and how to pay for them, and does Maurice Williamson have a show… :)

So, questions about both national and local political figures and about policy decisions by both local and central government. The giveaway is only being asked about the C&R brand. Clearly, this was a poll commissioned by National/C&R – probably Curia.

One object seems to be to get data on whether Williamson has a shot at a mayoral run (hey, talk of that dried up pretty suddenly, didn’t it? Probably about the time these polling numbers came in)

The questions about housing affordability are interesting (only rightwing ‘answers’ offered – this is typical of Farrar’s accidental push-polling). It shows that National feels it needs to do something in this area and is searching for an option that would be politically saleable, even if ineffective in practice. English has already signalled that we’ll be seeing something along those lines (sounds good, does nothing) in the Budget.

But it’s the transport ones that catch my eye. Why would National want to know about views on the City Rail Link vs the Holiday Highway? They wouldn’t if their position is fixed. If they’re building the holiday highway come hell or high water and they’re dead set against the CRL, they don’t need to waste money asking polling questions about them.

So, what if National’s position isn’t fixed? What if they’re considering building the CRL and they’re considering dropping the Holiday Highway to pay for it? Then, they would want an idea of how receptive the public would be to such a move.

And we know basically what the numbers will have told them, because the question has been asked in public polls: Aucklanders think the CRL is more important than the Holiday Highway.

Clearly, the party that can get the CRL built has a lot of votes to gain, both in 2014 and at the local body elections.

Here, then, is my call: in the Budget, National will announce it is providing part funding for the CRL. Puhoi to Wellsford may be delayed to free up the cash or the money might come from the so-called ‘Future Investment Fund’ (ie. the asset sales revenue) to really fuck with the Left.

That will be a bold move that will attempt to wrong-foot the Left by adopting one of its own positions, in stark contrast to National’s pattern to date of focusing on fringe issues that only the business elite back. Conflating asset sales with getting the CRL would make things really tricky for the Left to finesse.

So, will National have the vision and cunning for that. Or are they too ideologically set against rail?

45 comments on “City Rail Link in the Budget?”

  1. Interesting comment. The “leaks” about the budget and affordable housing, more state housing, and food in schools are all good progressive ideas. It is as if the Nats know the next election will be lost unless they can grab some left support and adopt policies that are near and dear to lefties.

    It confuses the hell out of me. And supporting the CRL would cause a crisis of confidence.

    Maybe they will do anything as long as they can retain power and keep selling assets. Including selling their right wing souls.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Looks like National have followed my advice on food in schools: http://thestandard.org.nz/the-problem-with-third-way-policies/

      Bugger.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        The feel of it is that National are gearing up hard to win a 3rd term. And are willing to make some minor progressive sacrifices in order to do so.

        • felix 1.1.1.1

          Quelle surprise, I thought National were supposed to politely hand over the bat at the end of their go.

          After all, their poll numbers have been trending down. Surely that’s a sign that their term is coming to an end and they should give up.

          And Labour have been playing nicely, quietly waiting their turn like they ought to. With such a cooperative opposition it seems highly unfair of National to try and get re-elected by such dirty tricks as announcing policy that appeals to the voters.

          This just won’t do. It’s Shearer’s turn goddammit.

          • The Al1en 1.1.1.1.1

            Cynical it is, opportunist it is, last throw of the dice it certainly isn’t – It’s called on the attack politics, and if done, the nats would not only win votes because of it, they would also have the perfect excuse to flog off more assets as ‘in the public interest’ to fund similar projects like they promised.
            Well played… If they weren’t scum bag rich pricks.

            Still, not bullet proof.
            If the nats are willing to stump up for the crl project they’ve previously criticvised, why didn’t they build a convention hall with government cash that they say would bring in 90m a year?

            • red rattler 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Could be a win win if the NACTs sign up China Railway Group to do a Build-Operate-Transfer job. And who knows, a crl that goes over to the North Shore and beyond could open a fastrail link to Marsden Point. The NACTs have all the money and all the connections and are walking all over Labour.

          • Tamati 1.1.1.1.2

            Here’s a nice example of some complacent left wingers, thinking all they had to do was smile and talk about “Time for Change” to get elected. 20% ahead in the polls at the start of year, yet go on to lose in May!

            http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/05/15/british_columbia_election_christy_clark_pulls_off_an_upset_for_the_ages_tim_harper.html

            Would probably be a good game plan for Key and a pretty big warning for Shearer!

      • Alanz 1.1.2

        “Looks like National have followed my advice on food in schools”

        - be careful what is written here. Nats pick up ideas from here while the Labour leadership doesn’t read blogs.

  2. Tamati 2

    Always interesting to see what the internal polling is up to. I don’t think it is a push poll though, they tend not to be done in person. I think the wording is more about finding expressions to put into sound bites. Fox News and the Republicans are masters at this dark art, hence why “Healthcare Reform” and “Universal Healthcare” became “government take over of healthcare” and “Obamacare”. As Roger Ailes said:

    “When I die, I want to come back with real power. I want to come back as a member of a focus group.”

    [yeah, I didn't say it was a push poll. the problem with farrar is his questions are limited to the existing framing of the people he's meant to be finding info for... so the respondent has to answer in terms that suit the cient... Eddie]

    • IrishBill 2.1

      No, it’s not a push poll. It’s a poll that is trying to determine the most palatable way to frame an issue within the limits of a rightwing paradigm.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      Pollsters are always like that, you gotta have the answers the bill payers like to hear- Ask Mitt Romney about that ?

  3. handle 3

    Parties adjust their communications planning with questions like these. It does not mean they will fund the Central Rail Link, just know how to talk about not doing it. Or in this case Williamson may not bother running for Mayor if his own libertarian bias is too far out of step with what Aucklanders want.

  4. Anne 4

    Clearly, this was a poll commissioned by National/C&R – probably Curia.

    Curia without a shadow of doubt. Has Farrar’s footprints all over it.

    • Tom Gould 4.1

      Did the polling company or organisation fail to name itself in the preamble? I thought that was a must in the industry code of ethics?

    • Anne 4.2

      Yes, it was Curia. They rang me this evening.

      I agree the questions were loaded and concentrated on Auckland City and the debate between the Rail Link and the Holiday Highway. Quite a complex poll. They are trying to gauge which of the funding options would evoke the least opposition.

      The other big issue was housing in Auckland and house prices in particular. They want to know who we’re blaming for the situation – the govt. or the council. C&R figured prominently – trying to find out if we’re put off by C&R and if so… they’ll stand supposedly independent candidates.

      My pick is this is a major poll which is also going to decide the strategy for their campaign next year. The background noise suggested to me there were at least 200 people on the phones. They’ll be ringing from one of the major polling companies. It will be costing them both arms and legs. Wonder what Farrar is charging them?

      Remember, elections are won and lost in Auckland.

      • karol 4.2.1

        Politics by poll just makes me sick. Where’s the conviction politics?

        Consulting with people is one thing, but using polls to find a sly way to slip in your desired policies is not in the spirit of democracy.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Conviction politics? Cowardice politics seems more common.

        • Anne 4.2.1.2

          Precisely karol, and to back that up I’ve remembered another interesting question:

          Did I think the govt. was going in the right direction or the wrong direction?

          In other words they will change their ideology and policies to fit with the majority opinion. No basic principles or integrity, just whatever it takes to hang on to that aphrodisiac… absolute power.

  5. Mike 5

    Joyce used the Holiday Highway in one of his Question Time diatribes today against the opposition for opposing him
    So I don’t think it’s going away

  6. If it’s true, then that’s why Len Brown threw problem gamblers under the sky city bus on Monday.
    What is it with Ak mayors? It’s like every one of them has their price. Banks’ is cash in an envelope, Brown’s kids locked in an underground car park.

    If it’s true.

  7. Molly 7

    If the Budget reveals attempts to “wrong foot the Left” as you suggest (and which I also suspect), the best response from the Left should be “about time!”…. and front the media requests for comment with “We are ready to reach consensus on these policies and are looking forward to working together now that National has come to the party” and make it apparent they are willing to work together on these issues.

    The left has the opportunity to take any moves by National to appear ready to deal – and run with it – preferably in full view of the public.

    Only after a period of time, should any Left commentators say (somewhat regretfully) “… I don’t know what happened, we were ready to sit down and get these issues sorted and National vetoed any of the solutions the group came up with. Despite that, we have …..” fed 2000 kids breakfast… etc

    • georgecom 7.1

      To put that in different words, frame things so the left has the answers to our current problems and the Nats are finally coming round to our way of thinking. We have the answers, we are the future government that will address the nations problems. The nats have belatedly come to the party. Hey, it has taken them a long time but we want to make an EARLY START on getting these problems solved so we will deal with them now. When we get into office we will have some head start on which to build some really progressive and long term focused initiatives.

      We have the answers, we are the government in waiting, we can’t wait to get cracking. We are gripped by a sense of urgency. There is not a moment to lose, not a person to waste. The Nats have wasted 5 years and pushed many people to the side. They have finally woken up to some of the things that need to be done. We’ll work with them so we can make a start and hit the ground running when elected.

      A left Government = the answers to the nations problems
      Nats et al = continually playing catch up, no idea apart from following our lead

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Nice framing but where is this Left Government in Waiting gripped with Urgency and armed with Answers that you keep referring to?

        • Alanz 7.1.1.1

          There is a Labour Party sitting on the opposition benches that is supposed to be on the Left but so far under its current leadership, it has been more successful at showing it is Left Behind.
          Never mind. Don’t rock the boat. Give it six more months.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1.2

          Glass always empty again CV ?

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.2.1

            Are you suggesting instead that the left wing glass is either half full, or completely full?

        • georgecom 7.1.1.3

          Well when has framing v reality actually stopped a government in the recent years I can count on the fingers of one hand?

          Brighter future
          Ambitious for NZ
          Wave goodbye to high taxes not your loved ones
          170,000 jobs
          etc etc

          I guess you might argue that the answers are in comparison with the lot in power at the moment, who are clueless about what to actually do about the problems, who think they are seeing ‘Wellington die and can’t do a thing about it’ etc etc.

          Not all the answers, fully admitted, simply far more than clueless and clueless. But importantly starting to develop some of the right answers for our future. Some way to go, yes, but at least the journey has been started. Clueless and clueless? Still transferring the nations welath into their mates pockets and little idea beyond that.

  8. Ad 8

    Far too early to get hopes up on CRL.
    Not even done the detailed business case, through Treasury Better Business Case framework.
    Best to hope for – and unlikely in my view – is Government saying “it’s worth thinking about”.

    anyone seen Labour’s alternative budget?
    Yesterday I just saw Parker in the Herald just agreeing with everything.

  9. tc 9

    If they back CRL then they risk looking desperate after slagging If off every opportunity and continuing with their roads to nowhere. If they use asset sales funds then that is another broken promise so as long as the opposition can stay on message it should be easy.

    Cue for twyford to prove he’s worth something after all maybe as DS seems feckless

  10. Salad 10

    Hang on a second. Maybe the mistake is thinking that the CRL is some kind of grand progressive, Left-wing project? After all, even the business lobbies support it these days…I think it is a good idea, but I don’t see what is inherently Left wing about it.

    • karol 10.1

      The focus on public transport is left wing. However, focusing only on rail is a limited vision. A substantial left wing approach would include linkages between buses and rail stations, and various incentives to get people walking, cycling and using public transport more, and using motor vehicles less on roads.

    • Stephen D 10.2

      Interesting point. The CRL is going to benefit those who use, or would use PT more. These people are not usually National voters. So it is a ‘left’ position in that is helps the bottom two thirds rather than the top third. OTOH businesses in Auckland realise the economic benefits of a decent PT system, so far the govt doesn’t.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        The CRL is going to benefit those who use, or would use PT more. These people are not usually National voters.

        I would tend to disagree around Auckland: everyone (and I do mean everyone) would like to see cars leave the motorways: even the people who drive new BMWs every day.

        • karol 10.2.1.1

          Yep. Even if they don’t want to use public transport themselves, they’d rather less people were using the roads.

          But, many people are eyeing the existing public transport, and want more of an incentive to get out of their cars – lower costs, more reliable and frequent PT, and more PT to diverse areas away from the rail lines.

  11. Rich the other 11

    Winning tactics,
    No money for the rail system , this time.
    Why would they partly fund it at this time when they have another budget after this one before the next election, it could be a vote winner in Auckland next time.

    The Govt’s on a roll with an abundance of good news story’s.
    Maurice Williamson will win if he stands.
    Len Browns housing plan is in tatters, it seems he forgot to ask AK residence if they would like high rise housing in their neighbour hood , another win for Nick Smith and the Nat’s .

    The left is going nowhere and are starting to panic , even submitters to this site are beginning to doubt the lefts ability’s.
    The economy is rapidly improving which creates real problems for the green/labour opposition.

    Long range prediction , next election a landslide win for National.

    • karol 11.1

      You should ask to write for the Civilian.

    • BM 11.2

      Yep, I’d be surprised if they don’t get a majority.

    • tracey 11.3

      “it seems he forgot to ask AK residence if they would like high rise housing in their neighbour hood” More evidenc eof the slefless community feeling of NZers. Just as they want more people in prisons but no prison built near them, they want their children to afford a home but not a 6 level complex near them.

    • karol 11.4

      TRto: Len Browns housing plan is in tatters, it seems he forgot to ask AK residence if they would like high rise housing in their neighbour hood ,

      Ummmm…. that is why it ‘s a draft Unitary Plan, and why there’s a call for submissions from the public, plus a load of public meetings about it.

      • tracey 11.4.1

        Nat supporters get confused over things like consultation and submission and pubblic meetings. They know what’s best for everyone else they find it frustrating to have to prove it.

  12. tracey 12

    The elephant int he housing affordability issue in Auckland, for politicians at least are leaky homes. I have been in this area of law for over 4 years now. There are over 80,000 home sin auckland ranging in values between $250k and over 1.4 million that cannot be sold because they are leaky (unless you want land value). Only about 8,000 of these owners had anyone they could sue (when they realised they had a leaky home) and the rpair costs are prohibitive and crippling for many. Take that number of homes out of the sale and purchase circulation and you have problems. BUT let’s just talk about the earthquake victims, supported by Govt, and insurance and not mention these people and their family and friends who are devastated emotionally and financially by all.

  13. tracey 13

    “The economy is rapidly improving” Thanks for the chuckle, it’s been a difficult day so far, speaking with those who the economy is failing and the justice system too… it’s always great to know amongst genuine suffering there are those who choose to belieev any old patter thrown their way.

  14. Mondograss 14

    I had a public meeting with Len about the Unitary Plan on the Shore a few nights ago. He didn’t mention the CRL once, despite it being central to the need to get decent public transport to the Shore. He did however mention the Holiday Highway several times, and not in negative terms either.

  15. tracey 15

    Mondograss… thanks for that. Buggered if I know what to make of it though…

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • March Madness 2014 results
    We already knew that rail set a new record in March by rising above 11 million passengers for the first time. What we didn’t know is just by how much it had passed and how the other PT modes fared. We...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • A sacred day
    There will be no politicking on this site on Anzac morning, even if John Key is an evil monster who must be stopped at all costs....
    Imperator Fish | 24-04
  • Fatah and Hamas – a marriage made in peace hell
    Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas want to have another go at marriage.They can’t promise anything, but are willing to have a try in order to reinstate the dwindling legitimacy they are both suffering from their respective enclaves....
    Pundit | 24-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-04
  • Three Songs For ANZAC Day
     Eric Bogle:  And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda  Eric Bogle: No Man's Land (The Green Fields Of France)  Redgum: I Was Only Nineteen They tell us that at Gallipoli New Zealand came of age as a nation. Well, if that's true, why is...
    Bowalley Road | 24-04
  • Labels for climate data
    “These results are quite strange”, my colleague told me. He analysed some of the recent climate model results from an experiment known by the cryptic name ‘CMIP5‘. It turned out that the results were ok, but we had made an...
    Real Climate | 24-04
  • Solemn Falsehoods: ANZAC Day, 2014
    Worthy Sons? Every ANZAC Day we tell ourselves that the blood sacrifice of Gallipoli marked the birth of New Zealand nationhood. But as the above poster attests, it was not our independence that George, the King Emperor, acknowledged but our...
    Bowalley Road | 24-04
  • Shane Jones’ new job raises Ministerial interference questions
    The Public Service Association says the announcement that Labour MP Shane Jones is to move to a new ‘ambassador-level’ role...
    PSA | 24-04
  • Evidence lacking for Northland council amalgamation
    The Public Service Association has told a Local Government Commission hearing in Kaikohe that there is a lack of evidence supporting...
    PSA | 24-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 24
    Top of the AgendaObama Navigates Asia-Pacific Security Challenges...
    Pundit | 24-04
  • This is treason, sirs!
    A guest post by Captain Horace Cockwood, RN, on the problems besetting the Labour Party...
    Imperator Fish | 24-04
  • The Beatification of St Jonesy
    This has been even stupider than I thought it would be. The majority of the media commentary regarding Jones has been – as Malcolm Tucker would put it – borderline homoerotic. Morning Report featured Damien O’Connor, Clayton Cosgrove, John Tamihere, Chris...
    DimPost | 24-04
  • Photo of the day – ANZAC
    I don’t know if they’ve done it again this year but this from 2012 was one of my favourite things to happen in Takutai Square Photo are credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • How to become a climate change denier (in 4 easy steps)
    Cartoon drawn by Joshua Cakeburger Drummond as a contribution to the High Water Project, and rooted in bitter experience, I suspect…...
    Hot Topic | 24-04
  • TV3′s The Nation: Antarctica and public understanding of climate change
    A few days have passed since Lisa Owen’s interview with Antarctic scientists Chuck Kennicutt of the US and Gary Wilson of New Zealand on TV3’s The Nation but I hope it’s still worth drawing attention to. Programmes like The Nation...
    Hot Topic | 24-04
  • Shane Gones
    So, Shane Jones is quitting politics.  The reasons given, according to Polity, are because he wants the Labour Party to embrace a wide range of opinions, and that that too many people have opinions he doesn't agree with, like forming...
    Left hand palm | 24-04
  • Australia welches on open government
    Last year, Australia announced that it was joining the Open Government Partnership. But now that Tony Abbott is in charge, they're backing out:THE Abbott government is reconsidering Labor’s pledge to sign Australia up for a major international transparency and citizen...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • A counterproductive waste of money
    That's the quick assessment of Britain's participation in the "war on terror":Britain's military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Shane Jones Nationalised
    Shane Jones is on Radio Live as I type this, explaining that he quit politics because he just couldn't be arsed etc.  "No reservoir of energy to..." as he put it.  Ridiculous.  Retirement at 54.  A career beginning and ending...
    Tumeke | 24-04
  • The ICJ orders Australia to stop interfering with witnesses
    Last year, in what was clearly the actions of a guilty government, the Australian government detained a former ASIS agent who was going to testify against them over their bugging of the government of East Timor, raiding his house and...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Here’s what a real bloke sounds like
    Kelvin Davis3 hrs ·...
    Pundit | 24-04
  • So long Shane, thanks for all the ‘fush’
    So Shane Jones is off. Retired from politics he says. Couldn’t give 100 percent to the cause so he did what he thought was best for the Party.Shane Jones has always been a polarising figure and never more so when...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 24-04
  • The benefits of transparency
    Ministerial expenses were released today, and as usual, I spent an hour trawling through the credit card statements hoping to find evidence of Ministers rorting us. So what did I find? Nothing. No $1,000 a night luxury hotel rooms. No...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Christchurch to use Auckland’s old trains?
    As the new electric trains roll out over the coming year or so, a question we don’t know the answer to is what will happen to the old diesel trains Auckland no longer needs. Of course we will need to...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • Access: Defective, deficient, deviant and delinquent
    As many NZ babies do, I developed eczema and asthma. My mother took me to various clinicians. I have vague impressions of kindly doctors with strange accents. In retrospect they were probably part of the Jewish diaspora - educated at...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • An FPP politician in an MMP world
    So, now that Shane Jones has gone, he's come clean about the reason: he didn't want to work alongside Russel Norman and the Greens. Which I think emphasises just how much of a throwback Jones was, and how unsuited he...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: News from talented women
    As I may have noted once or twice, Janine and the Mixtape's Dark Mind EP is one of last year's overlooked local gems. Or perhaps not-so-overlooked now, given that her new video for 'Hold Me' was premiered this week on...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus should be on getting housing costs down, and raising wages to make...
    CTU | 23-04
  • One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014Body:  An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure...
    First Union Media | 23-04
  • Update from Dr.Gevil
    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin
    There are certain stories that get under your skin, stories that no matter how many times you hear them somehow strike you in a way that you never forget, stories that become a very part of you. The story of...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-04
  • Anit-fluoridation advertising deceptive
     Looks like the scientific fight-back against the misinformation coming from anti-fluoridation groups is having some success. This press release from the on-line Making Sense of Fluoride group. Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected by The Advertising Complaints Authority Over the past week,...
    Open Parachute | 23-04
  • The Art of Letting Go
    via Porcupine Farm   While the big news with regard to the rebuild has been the scaling back of the Arts Precinct, this is just one part of a wider narrative that sees the grand plan unravelling. Since I wrote...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 23-04
  • Joyce tells Otago to ship in more students
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 11 Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is using threatened changes to university councils to bully the University of Otago to take more international students, says TEU national secretary Sharn...
    TEU | 23-04
  • New money for Māori innovation won’t cover cuts to Māori research
    Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori centre of research excellence is welcoming the  government’s decision to invest up to $2.5 million a year over the next two years in Māori-led science and...
    TEU | 23-04
  • UCOL staff given holiday but not pay rise
    UCOL staff got two extra days’ holiday they did not bargain for this week between Easter and Anzac Day, but what they really want is a pay rise. The polytechnic’s chief executive Paul McIlroy said...
    TEU | 23-04
  • Workers Memorial Day 2014
    Please be advised that there are three events planned to commemorate Workers Memorial Day (28 April) in Wellington. The media are invited to attend all three events.What When Photo:  ...
    CTU | 23-04
  • Shane Jones speaks out
    On 3news last night, Shane Jones gave a staged interview where he got some things off his chest. Not exactly a graceful exit, but there you go. Two of the things he said were especially interesting to me. Shane said:...
    Polity | 23-04
  • No Economic Rationale for $760m Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fifth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz In this post we look at the economic...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    Column – iPredict iPredicts 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives...
    Its our future | 23-04
  • Photo of the day – Vulcan Lane
    Vulcan Lane alive with people Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • Have your say on what Internet rights should look like
    Today I launched my Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill – NZ’s first ever bill crowdsourced by a political party. The launch happened live on Reddit, and I was joined in my office Joy Liddicoat (former Human Rights Commissioner and present...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Michael Porter on Social Progress
    via CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a fascinating interview with Harvard's Michael Porter, architect of the Social Progress Index that was launched to great fanfare a little while back. New Zealand won the top rank in that index, and Porter's main...
    Polity | 23-04
  • Time running out to save uni councils
    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Another reason why we need an enforceable BORA
    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Attack of the Return of the Revenge of the Night of Boris Johnson
    The Great White Shark is circling closer and closer ...Boris Johnson is to announce he will stand for Parliament at next year’s election – to avoid speculation on his future overshadowing the Tory campaign.Friends of the London Mayor say he...
    Left hand palm | 23-04
  • The Greens’ "internet bill of rights"
    Today the Green party released their draft Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The bill is a response to government interference in cyberspace via the GCSB Act, TICS, and the Skynet law, and is intended to limit government control. Interestingly, they're...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Tweet FA
    It’s nothing new for politicians (and would-be politicians) to fall foul of the odd misplaced tweet, or some other social media own goal, so much that there is even a website to highlight deleted tweets. A politician speaking without thinking...
    recess monkey | 23-04
  • The two-sided density dividend: Agglomeration economies in *consumption*
    Why are people – both in NZ and around the world – increasingly choosing to live in cities? The answer usually advanced in response to this question, at least from an economic perspective, is “agglomeration economies”. In this post I...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • "Shoulder-tapping" vs public service values
    Another angle to the Shane Jones resignation: Mr Jones said he would leave Parliament next month after he was shoulder tapped by Foreign Minister Murray McCully for a new role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific. This is...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Govt fails Southern Cross Forest workers
    The Government's failure to deal with problems in the wood processing industry has resulted in more needless job losses, Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.Southern Cross Forest Products announcement of another sawmill closure brings the tally of closures...
    Greens | 24-04
  • Humiliation for Government in Chinese dictat
    New Zealand’s food safety systems should be respected by our trading partners, but instead the Government has been humiliated with the Chinese dictating the terms of our infant formula production, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.   “The Government...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Honouring our Pacific soldiers
    Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson and MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio, will pay a special tribute to the many Pacific Islanders who fought in the New Zealand Armed Forces during the First World War in a speech he is giving...
    Labour | 24-04
  • Government inaction on power and housing to blame for latest rate rise
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says today's interest rate rise, that will hit home owners and businesses, is a consequence of the government's failure to get a grip on electricity prices and the property market, particularly in Auckland."The Green Party...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Rate rise not needed if Government was doing its job
    Today’s interest rate rise wouldn’t have been necessary if the Government had been doing its job properly and targeting the sources of inflation, Labour says. “New Zealand interest rates are among the highest in the world, putting more and more...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Real independence needed in food safety
    The Green Party are calling for a truly independent body to regulate our food safety.Food safety Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the establishment of a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council as part of the Government's response to last year's...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave